Saturday, August 24, 2013

Called to Serve

Dear Sister Ruth:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Indiana Indianapolis Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. 

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president. 

I GOT MY CALL!  This last Wednesday, I received my call in the mail and was able to open it with most of my family there. I'm incredibly excited and feel so humbled to have the chance to serve in Indiana and in my native tongue. I think there are many missionaries out there that desire to serve foreign, and I'll admit, I was one of them. But as it got closer and closer to receiving my call, the more I got the feeling I would serve state side and I was getting more excited than I ever thought I could.

I feel like there is so much I will be able to accomplish in Indiana as I follow the Spirit and the Lord. There is a reason I was called to my mission and I want nothing more than to accomplish the will of the Lord.

From the time I got my call to the time I will enter the Provo MTC is 11 weeks. Just enough time to get all of the shopping done that I need and to finish reading the Book of Mormon and studying Preach My Gospel. When you get your call, you will also receive a booklet with basics about missionary service, what's needed and your mission and mission president. From what I've learned once you get your call you'll get extra information from your mission president, so I am waiting for that.

Here's what to expect in the mission booklet:

  • Mission President and his wife's bio
  • Map showing your mission and the areas you'll serve in
  • General Instruction Checklist consisting of:
    • Your purpose
    • Things to do immediately
    • Before entering the MTC
    • Reporting to the MTC and what to and not to bring
    • Money
    • Email and mail service
    • Personal Items
    • Drivers License Info
    • Music and Miscellaneous
  • Medical Information which talks about medical records, insect prevention, Missionary Medical, immunizations and which are required or merely suggested
  • Dress and Grooming with pictures of what is acceptable 
  • Items specific to your mission- meaning wardrobe and what you need to bring
  • Missionary Travel including how to get to the MTC (especially if you have to fly in), airport info and baggage information
  • Missionary Call Acceptance - you will want to write this immediately and get it endorsed by your bishop to send back to the First Presidency
  • Immunization card (where you record what you've received and when) and MTC Ticket Request (which you'll need if you are flying in to your MTC)
I'm finishing my acceptance letter today because I have my temple recommend interview with my bishop tomorrow, so I can take it with me and have him endorse it then. Other than that, I'm just following the instructions in the booklet on being prepared.


Every mission will be unique in what is required pertaining to wardrobe and other supplies, but there are some generals that I think apply to any mission. Here is a list with a printable word document. (Anything with and asterisk* is what is specific to my mission and can be bought in the field.) And yes, there's a lot!

  • Umbrella (1): sturdy, solid in color
  • Clothes hangers
  • Camera: simple and inexpensive. You're not allowed to use the video feature during your mission.
  • Towels: 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel, 2 wash cloths
  • Bedding: 2 twin-size sheets (flat), 2 pillowcases
  • Personals: make-up, toothbrush and paste, floss, mouthwash, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, shaving supplies, combs, shoe polish, etc.
  • First-aid kit: current prescriptions (bring enough for your MTC training and first month out in the field), multivitamins, cold/allergy meds, decongestant, thermometer, fever reducer, pain reliever, anti-diarrhea meds, antibiotic/anti-itch ointment, anti-fungal cream/spray, bandages, 25-35% DEET mosquito repellant, medical ID bracelet (if applicable). **Pack your bug repellant in your luggage if you're going through an airport otherwise it will be confiscated.**
  • Sun screen and lip balm with minimum of 30 SPF and ointment for heat rash if in a warm climate.
  • Prescription eyeglass (if applicable). Contact lenses are discouraged due to risk of injury or infection.
  • Miscellaneous: small sewing kit, wind-up/battery alarm clock (without a radio!), laundry bag, small flashlight and batteries, plain and inexpensive watch, moleskin for blisters, extra eyeglasses or contact lenses/solution.
  • Music: contact your mission president to see what is acceptable. Remember, any music must be conducive to the Spirit and should never interfere with personal prep or proselyting. You may also bring a music playback device but speakers are required. Headphones are not allowed and the device cannot receive radio signals, play videos or access the Internet.
  • Insurance cards
  • Copy of your Immunizations: make a copy of the card in the back of your booklet with the kinds and dates of all immunizations received. 
  • Outfits (6-8)
  • Garments (8-10 pairs)
  • Thermal underwear:* (2 pair)
  • Shoes (2)
  • Winter boots (1)* 
  • Exercise clothing: jogging suit, 1 pair Capri-length pants, modest t-shirt (no inappropriate logos or sayings), and athletic shoes and socks.
  • Other activities: one set of clothing for service activities. Pants must be full in length
  • Winter coat:* heavy with a zip-out liner for warmth
  • Cold weather accessories:* gloves, scarf, ear-bands, winter hat
  • Sweaters (1-2): Cardigan styles are recommended. Sweaters should be in solid colors to match your outfit. They must be modest in style and fit.
  • Pajamas (1): robe and slippers, as needed.
  • Shower sandals
Whew, that's a lot! But it's all necessary. Now if you're wondering HOW you're going to get it all packed, here are a few links that I found on Pinterest that look like they might be useful. When it comes to me actually packing, I'll make another post about that. Also, remember that depending on the time of year you are leaving, some things you'll want to buy in the field and other things you can have your family send directly to your mission if you won't need it all in the MTC.

How to pack a carry-on for 10 days

I will definitely write more as I get more information about my mission and as I'm buying the supplies I need. Please remember to do everything for your mission prayerfully, even if it feels silly. The Lord knows that there's a lot to get done beforehand, and He will be with you every step of the way as you try to figure out what shoes will be best or how to really strengthen your testimony as you study. If it matters to you, it matters to Him.


  1. This is so amazing because last thursday, August 22, I got my mission call. I have been waiting for 3 and a half weeks because they actually assigned my call and then 2 weeks later reassigned it. I finally got my call after waiting "patiently" and it is to Indiana Indianapolis mission. I am so beyond excited and think it is a perfect call. I report to the MTC on December 18, a week before Christmas.

    1. Sister Wilkinson CONGRATULATIONS! I'm sure I'll be out of the MTC by the time you get there, but who knows. Maybe we'll run into each other in Indiana! My prayers are with you.

  2. Ya who knows, if anything it was still good to hear that we got the same call. Congratulations, I hope you love it, even if we don't meet.